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post #1 of (permalink) Old 08-13-2003, 02:52 AM
zukiman
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Selling the Sami, getting a 4-door Kick! Questions

You read that right....after a decade-long love affair with my Samurai, I'm now selling it and will be buying and building a 96-98 4-door Sidekick. But first, I have a couple questions for those of you who know more about Sidekicks than I do.

First of all, I'm thinking of getting an automatic transmission. How will that affect the ease of (or the ability to) install a 2 or 3 inch body lift? Since I want to run 31x10.50's up front and 31x12.50's out back (with different size and backspaced wheels, so it won't look goofy but will put as much rubber on the ground as possible) I think my bare-minimum clearance would be achieved with Calmini's 3-inch suspension and 2-inch body lift. What issues do I need to be aware of ahead of time when installing a body lift on a 4-door Sidekick? Is the body lift a pain in the rear?

If I went with Calmini's 3-inch lift, would installing coil spacers be a good way to gain a tad bit more tire clearance, or is there just not enough camber designed into their front-end components to allow spacers to be used and still have reasonably even tire wear?

*sigh* I wish Rocky Road's "In The Works" 6-inch kit was out already. [img]images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]

Basically, I want to build a Rubicon-capable Sidekick that will double as my daily driver. And I want to do it right. I'd love anyone's advice! Thanks in advance...

-- Geoff "am I a traitor?" Beasley
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 08-13-2003, 12:17 PM
 
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Re: Selling the Sami, getting a 4-door Kick! Questions

I really am not sure how easy it is to put a body lift on a sidekick with an auto tranny. I know that with a manual it's a little easier because you don't have the auto console there, and you can just bend or extend the stick and it works fine. You might be taking the auto console out to make shifting room once you have a body lift?

That's really my only concern. Other than that, a body lift on a 4 door is pretty easy. (I did it myself, my husband came home and tightened the bolts). After having done a custom body lift though, I would highly recommend you purchase an actual manufacturers body lift, as I think I ran into more trouble than I would have if I had done it that way.

If it were a perfect world, I would recommend getting a Calmini 2 inch suspension front with a 3 inch rear. Mainly because of the extended heim joint and control arms for the rear. I REALLY liked the ride of the 2 inch up front, and I DON'T have a camber issue and I DON'T have CV joint problems and I DON'T have problems popping bolts or ripping aluminum out of my diff mounts.

Well. The only Calmini 2 inch items still residing on my truck at this point are the a-arms, the drop brackets, and the front struts. I changed over the springs in the back to stock TJ's, and the shocks in the back to Rancho RS 5115's (more droop). I changed the springs in the front to some no name out of the used bin at a local spring shop 2 inch longer, thicker and tighter wound ones.

The hardest part about a 4 door is the heavy butt. Gotta make something up to keep it from sagging and rubbing on the tires.

I would recommend the 3 inch lift (watch those CV joints and camber issues) because you get the extended rear heim joint and control arms, which make 31's easier to fit, and then get some spring spacers for the rear to help keep it up. You can use Jeep TJ spacers from Daystar (most 4x4 shops in town should be able to get them) and bore the centers out about 1/4 inch, or go with the ones Rocky Road has.

If you are buying a Sport Sidekick, you might need to do some modifications to the Calmini suspension lift to get it to fit right, because the frame is wider on the Sport. See this site:

http://www.angelfire.com/trek/4x4gra...t/calmini.html

I understand that us americans don't get the V-6, but the frame is the same. We have a friend who lives in the next town over who has a lifted Sport, and he also had to modify the suspension lift.

Sorry for the long post. I REALLY like lifted 4 doors, and wish I could see more of them. They handle really well because of the long wheelbase, their only shortcoming being the breakover angle.

Heather

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 08-13-2003, 05:57 PM
 
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Re: Selling the Sami, getting a 4-door Kick! Questions

Id steer clear of the 3 inch too up front anyways cv joint pop like nothing front end cases crack all the time and you lose almost all of the stock front wheel drop. if i put a jack under the front of my kick and jack it up the front wheels only drop half an inch. and it rides like total [bleep]. But im going to go yjs and yots front and rear after zookin if you want to buy a lift ill sell ya mine [img]images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] I wish i never sold my sami. if im not mistaking i think the auto shift is cable operated if i can remember correctly and if you buy a body lift from calmini it comes with a 3 inch rod to weld to the 4x4 shift to bring it back to stock hight and i didnt have to cut anything. i think being auto will be just as easy as a stick to body lift. id probubly go with a remote tranny cooler too to make it easyer to deal with tranny lines.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 08-14-2003, 01:26 AM
zukiman
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Re: Selling the Sami, getting a 4-door Kick! Quest

Thanks so much for all your advice!

I keep going back and forth in my mind between a 4-door 'Kick and a Grand Vitara. As much as I want to fit 31's, it's so much easier to fit 30's with either vehicle. That's what I may do, which would mean I'll probably just go with a Grand Vitara.

Next question: ARBs in a Grand Vitara....anyone know what exactly it'll take to fit a pair of air lockers?

-- Geoff Beasley
post #5 of (permalink) Old 08-14-2003, 01:30 AM
 
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Re: Selling the Sami, getting a 4-door Kick! Questions

Or, just go for Rocky Road's 2.5" suspension. Anything beyond 2.5", like Calmini's 3", requires dropping the front diff, adding more things that can break, and more labour in the installation.

Ditto for a body lift. No extending with 2" and under. Again, less labout, and fewer things that can break.

As for the front struts, any body shop can make camber adjustment possible. They did on mine. Nothing a die grinder can't fix.

Technically, you can fit 31's stock. Just requires some minor trimming of the trailing edge of the front fender. I have pics of the required trimming... sent to me from someone who runs 31's stock sucessfully (not that I would with anything less than 2.5" of lift!).

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post #6 of (permalink) Old 08-14-2003, 01:48 AM
zukiman
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Re: Selling the Sami, getting a 4-door Kick! Quest

Thanks for the info! How about on a Grand Vitara? I'd really love to fit 31's on a GV, but I don't want to cut the fenders. Do I have any hope of installing tires that size?

-- Geoff
post #7 of (permalink) Old 08-14-2003, 12:10 PM
 
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Re: Selling the Sami, getting a 4-door Kick! Quest

You should talk to Yankee Tim from Yankee Offroad... I haven't seen him on this board for a while, but I see him on the Zukiworld board a lot. He has a GV and could probably offer you his experience.


Heather

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